You might have seen a project spoiler we posted on twitter and instagram last weekend. (If you didn’t you should follow us! @charlestoncraft) Sean found this side table next to the dumpster in his apartment complex years ago. It has been since sitting on his screened porch collecting dust and getting, if possible, even ickier.
As you can see, the table is wood, but has layers of thin wood (fake wood?) on each surface that are really gross and peely. And yes, it has been sitting, just like this, for actual years.
I finally had enough and insisted that we get a move on it. So, we buckled down and (during commercial breaks on the Panthers game for Sean) started by carefully peeling off the icky wood.
This took a lot longer than expected. Sean had to use this metal scraper to get some of the tough bits. However, when we finally got it off, it automatically looked 1,000 times better.
Look how much crap we pulled off! WOW!
Then we noticed that the top of the table was kind of warped. Maybe from sitting
in next to a dumpster for an indeterminate period of time. Or maybe its just warped out of protest of being ignored on the porch for so long.
Have no fear, Sean filled the gaps with wood glue (we used Gorilla Glue Wood Glue) and used clamps to squeeze it flat. After around an hour, it was dry enough to remove the clamps and proceed.
Next, we sanded the whole thing down really well. We used regular sand paper (80 coarse) on the legs and curvy bits and this nifty sandpaper block for the flat parts. Its a plastic thing that you slip a piece of sandpaper in (we cut a bit off of a larger piece of sandpaper) and makes it so much easier to hold and use!
We sanded it really well and then used a damp cloth to wipe off the dust and see if we needed any touch ups.
Next came the fun part! We painted on Rustoleum ultimate wood stain in dark walnut using a foam brush. We painted it on thick, let it sit for about five minutes, and then wiped the excess with a rag.
I stretched a rubber band around the can so I could scrape any excess stain off of the brush.
Cici wanted to come help so badly! Too bad puppies don’t have thumbs or we would have let her!
It turned out so yummy! I love this darker color, I just think dark wood looks so much richer and more expensive than light wood.
We let it dry over night. Meanwhile, we both had stain all over our hands. It won’t come off at all with soap, so we thought we’d share this little trick- rub vegetable oil all over the stained area, then rinse with warm water. It magically all comes off!
Finally, we sealed the table. It took 3 thin coats of Polycrylic Protective Finish Clear Satin sealant with light sandings in between. This was tedious, but we wanted to make sure it would withstand cups without coasters and wet rag wipedowns in case it (inevitably) gets pollen-y in the spring.
Now here’s a reminder of how it first looked:
And here it is now:
So much better! We are beyond thrilled with it. Sean is kicking himself for not doing this two years ago! Any transformations been going on in your home lately?
Want to learn to flip furniture for a profit? We have a whole resource library of files to help you get started! Sign up for free:
P.S. – Look under our Cozumel memory jar for a sneek peek of our latest craft coming at you soon!
Want more side tables?